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Alive in Wonderland

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Monday, February 01, 2010
Getting schooled by homework
Friday, February 05, 2010
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Really? String bikini panties for little girls? Really?

I was at the Mecca of all stores, as far as my eight-year-old daughter is concerned, Justice, and I came across these little numbers: String bikini panties starting at size 4/5.


Sorry for the quality of photo, but as soon as I saw them I pulled out my iPhone and started covertly taking photos to show you. My daughter was very, very pleased. (Ahem. Not.) Does this feel wrong to you? Creepy even? I'm not referring to the day-glo, splatter paint, '80 throwback part of the panties, which is indeed creepy, I mean the idea of a little girl in "adult style" panties.

I know that no one is going to see them but me and her, but still, aren't some things just inherently wrong? Just the idea of them? Can't little girls just be little girls? I want my 4-10 year old to be wearing Hello Kitty underwear (Heck, I want to wear Hello Kitty underwear) or Barbie, or even...**grimace** Hannah Montana, but not string bikinis.

I guess the bottom line for me here is; I'm in no hurry to have my daughter grow up. She isn't getting her ears pierced until she's 12-years old, no make up until high school and I don't let her watch some of the same movies as her friends. Not that I think the parents who let their daughters do these things are bad or even doing their daughters a disservice, I'm just in no hurry....and I'm the mom. I guess it all comes down to that, if it feels wrong to me (oh, and her dad would flip) then that's a good enough reason for me.


I think on the scale of modesty and sexual attitude I fall right in the middle. Elizabeth Esther wrote this great post--Why I've banned the Victoria's Secret Catalog from my house--and I've thought about it for a long time, because I do allow it in my house and I purchase items from it regularly.

I don't read it to my son at bedtime or anything, but I think it's appropriate for adults and it doesn't bother me or make me feel bad about myself. I think it lacks the raunchiness and intention of "soft porn" but I see her point about the "pornographic tide that seeks to hurt my children," I just don't think the VS Catalog falls under that category. What are your thoughts on Elizabeth's piece? I think this is all fascinating and good stuff for women to talk about. I think it's important.

Disclosure: Bloggers are often provided with free products, services and "experiences" from companies for the purpose of testing and reviewing them in a blog post. Any product mentioned in the blog posts of ocfamily.com may have been offered at no cost to the blogger.

Reader Comments
Oy. And I just read that Miley Cirus' little sister is launching a lingerie line for 9-year-olds. http://celebrities.ninemsn.com.au/blog.aspx?blogentryid=585857&showcomments=true&rss=yes Digest THAT one! Sick.
Very creepy! And the fact that only your daughter will see them doesn't change anything. It sends the wrong message to *her*. That her worth as a woman is tied to her sexuality and not in her values, intelligence, skills, etc. This is a big pet peeve of mine. I'm so angry that the movement that fought for the rights of women to vote, go to college and have a fair shot in the workplace now fights for women to act like men when it comes to sex and modesty (i.e. casual sex is perfectly okay, and it's a good thing to wear skanky clothes).
Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton|Reply
    Reply To : Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton  Thanks Shari. This is just weird. Really weird
    Suz Broughton|Reply
    Reply To : Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton  Thanks Shari. This is just weird. Really weird
    Suz Broughton|Reply
    Reply To : Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton  Sorry, Fern, I don't know why it did that. I appreciate this perspective. I hadn't thought it through that far, but I agree.
    Suz Broughton|Reply
    Reply To : Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton  oh forget you noah cyrus has the right to wear what she wants and there was nothing wrong with her outfit. Now about the panties the panties were fine there not saying anything and even if they were if your child is getting a bad message by a freaking bikini then you have screwed her up for life and she should be takin away from you for life ur screwed up.
    jenna amata|Reply
    Reply To : Fern @ Find Me In Fullerton  oh forget you noah cyrus has the right to wear what she wants and there was nothing wrong with her outfit. Now about the panties the panties were fine there not saying anything and even if they were if your child is getting a bad message by a freaking bikini then you have screwed her up for life and she should be takin away from you for life ur screwed up.
    jenna amata|Reply
As for Elizabeth's story, I don't have a problem with Victoria's Secret. When I actually had money, I shopped there. What I think I agree with her about is that women are objectified to such a degree that no one even recognizes it anymore. And the images in the catalogs or commercials or prime time specials are not just seen by adults who shouldn't feel one bit guilty about shopping there. The problem is that our kids are bombarded by images they're not really ready to see...if you ask me. Granted, I'm not a parent so I probably sound ridiculous. But I agree with you Suz...let little girls be little girls. And let little boys be little boys. Which ultimately is what I think Elizabeth is trying to do. In her case, it sounded like she was advocating from keeping those images as best she can from her kids. But then again, maybe I misunderstood? I don't know that's just what I thought her take was.
    Reply To : Elaina  Hi Elaina: I do think that is what is at the heart of what Elizabeth was saying, I just wouldn't take it as far as banning it from my house. I think it's fine for adult women to look through it and purchase from its pages.
    Suz Broughton|Reply
Dreading the day my girl wants to start shopping the PINK line at VS. Seems just weird to shop for your girl in mom lingerie store. It's so transparent marketing to me to just move 'em up the merchandise alley. As for Justice, not in there often. Found cute & organic choices at Hannah Anderson the other day; hope to keep her there for a LONG time ;) D
Debbie Lavdas|Reply
Curious if Justice has responded yet. You're right Suzanne - you are the mom and YOU decide, not the clothing manufacturers!
Wow! A few years back they had thongs for little ones and those got taken off the market. As far as VS goes. We don't have it in our house. I can order online or go into a store. The only woman I want my hubby picturing in underwear is me!!! And while that isn't an issue with Eli yet, I want him to respect a women's modesty. It isn't so much the lingerie (he'll see as much skin at the beach this summer) as it is the provocative poses and faces. VS is Playboy without the articles.
kara-noel @ she's crafty|Reply
Does this mean you won't be entering her in toddler beauty pageants? I have a creepy fascination with "Toddlers and Tiaras," so I got to see a 6-year-old describe one of her pageant outfits as "pretty and sexy." I don't know about the VS catalogues. I don't know if I'd call them soft porn, but I will say that, back in the day, a little boy would have to find a Playboy magazine under his older brother's bed to see that much lady flesh.
Kathi D|Reply
I have a little girl who wants very much to be BIG and OLDER, so I think I need to work harder than most moms to keep her YOUNG (lucky me!). I go the extra step to NOT introduce her to sexy and adult like things that are directed to very young girls. I don't mind VS or sexy outfits directed to an adult audience. You can't completely hide from kids that this kind of stuff is out there, but you need to make it clear that they are NOT appropriate for children. I buy my daughter clothes that are modern and stylish (I would prefer cute and more babyish dresses) bc at age 6, she wants to look "cool", but I make sure they are all appropriate for a little girl. I say, those panties, NO WAY!
I agree with you on the string bikini issue for little girls. That is way too young. I have a little girl myself and I think she is too young for that. I tried to hold off her being a kid as much as I can. But of course, one day she will grow up too until that day I will deal with it. I think it is the parent responsibility to tell their kids what is appropriate and what is not.
Suz you are a very wise mom!!
    Reply To : Gloria  Thank you. You've always, since I was 14-years-old, been so supportive. Love you! Suz
    Suz Broughton|Reply
It's times like these that make me glad I have boys!
    Reply To : Cara  ^ yeah, because boys can get away with wearing whatever they like with no questions asked. This comment ( and several others on this thread) demonstrate why male dominance and sexism is alive and well in society.
I think having a solid trusting relationship with your kids in which you can have conversations about things like why a certain item of clothing is inappropriate is more important than "protecting" them. My mom attempted to "protect" me so much when I was growing up that I had to learn to put on makeup from my gay best friend in high school (only after much ridicule and scorn from the other girls in class for a couple years though - wow, no wonder I distrust other women), and my dad bought me clothes behind her back so I could fit in better (like my first short skirt and my first nice dress). And really she didn't protect me from anything since my older brother and the few friends I had (which were all guys because girls thought I was "wierd"-all mothers of girls should be required to read "Carrie") were more than happy to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. If something in a store is inappropriate, don't buy it. If no one buys them (or very few at least), the product will disappear. Simple economics. In the meantime, use it as an opportunity to talk to your daughter about what is and is not appropriate for her age and why. My daughter knows that when I dress up to go dancing with daddy and I wear a corset, a miniskirt, and 4 inch heels it's because I like the way they look and it's for me and not anyone else. (Although if anyone else thinks I look fabulous, they are free to say so.) Also everyone has different opinions. (Like, I, for one, don't see what's sexy about string bikini underwear. I thought it was more about function than to be sexy? My aunt was horrified when she took my shopping in college and she found out I had no idea you were supposed to wear certain types of underwear for certain types of clothing to help them fit better and she schooled me in the art of high fashion.)
Julie Scott|Reply
    Reply To : Julie Scott  I like your philosophy, "If you don't like something in the store, don't buy it." It's always the simple solutions that are usually the best. As always, I appreciate the time you take in leaving your opinion. Sometimes when I write things I wonder what your response it going to be. Suz
    Suz Broughton|Reply
Also, what's wrong with the PINK line? It seems to be mostly sweats, t-shirts, boyshorts, socks, etc. And the pics are usually a bunch of college gal pals hanging out having a slumber party or whatnot. It's about the most less sexy, more fun line that VS has. (Although, I love their boyshorts and sweats in that line, so I'm biased.)
Julie Scott|Reply
    Reply To : Julie Scott  hey Julie, nada wrong w/PINK line. I have a few items myself. As one who lives in the advertising world, I just see it as serious bait-and-switch marketing. They are trying to hook young teens to become VS Lifers, so reel 'em in early. Seems like should be 2 separate stores myself. Always thought it was weird that my sis & young teen niece shopped in sexy underwear store together. (line may be college for PINK, but marketers want the teens to wanna be the the cool college kids, right?) quick link somewhat kinda sorta related: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/03/03/victorias-secret-marketing/ D :)
    Debbie Lavdas|Reply
Size 4/5? My 4 year old wears that size! We don't visit that store now and I guess we won't in the future. You are so right--we are the parents, we make the call. This post reminds me of your previous posts on the Juicy line and the Barbie Party Hot Tub thing. Yikes. It's everywhere.
I agree with you. My issue is primarily with the size. It's just so young, way too young in my opinion.
I think the size is just dumb marketing. I don't know why you'd buy underwear from Justice in the first place. They grow so fast and change their tastes so much in elementary school I couldn't imagine buying anything but the value packs at Target or Walmart. (Last time I bought my daughter underwear fairys were cool. This time, she'll only wear the color blue - variations are okay. I don't know. Kids are funny like that.) But, I don't know. I'm far more offended by people marketing toys for PG-13 or R rated movies to my daughter than by some possibly questionable panties being sold by some mall clothing chain.
Julie Scott|Reply
I find it interesting your comment "I think on the scale of modesty and sexual attitude I fall right in the middle. ". Maybe compared to highly religious and Amish. People in the US have this highly sexualized view of the world, you should travel to Europe. Interesting, we consider the naked body to be bad, but showing people being blown up on tv, or other violence is accepted. Getting back to the topic, it's underwear. Just because you don't want your kids to wear it is fine, but do you really care if other kids do wear it? Isn't that choice, to decide what to wear? When you take away people's choice is hurts everyone. What if I felt thongs were inappropriate for everyone, should they be taken away? Realize that if you don't like that style of underwear for your daughter, just don't buy it. It's really that simple. Don't try to take away choices from everyone else.
you guys need to stop being so damn closedminded i mean geez.., it's better than thongs..., i know girls her age that wear thongs.., stop being such bitches and let them do as they please.., rofl..XD
hey look i understand both sides, but my husband ex-wife lets her 8yr wear a thong. belive me when he found out he was rage with anger. but hes daughter told him that she likes them. but she only wears them areound the house and not at school. it tooks us awhile to clam down but still he doesnt aprove of it. we still buy her regular girls underwaer. and she wears them. but sometimes her mom packs her a thong or two. tell me what can we do
What do you do when you have one thats 21 and one thats 11? Thats our case here. The 11 year old wants to be like her older sister.
Beckie Overton|Reply
I am sad to say because of the outrage created by this and other moms on these string bikini panties, that Justice no longer carries them. It really sucks for the parent's of competitive gymnasts, cheerleaders and ballet dancer's. These were the only panties that we have found that our girls were able to wear under a leotard that did not hang out the bottom for all to see. Which in gymnastics, that results in a deduction. Now the girls are forced to wear no panties at all under their leotards during competitions!! One of my daughter's is in high school but is so tiny that these little girls panties were the only ones that fit her correctly! How would you like to be in high school and have to wear panties that have hello kitty on them? I know exactly how that feels because I was in the same boat at her age! It really is awful to have to change in front of other girls in the locker room when you have characters on your panties. You would think no one would look... right??? Not the case at all. Girls can be mean!!! and next thing you know... the whole school knows you have strawberry shortcake panties on... when your 4'9" and all of 78lbs at 15years old, or 4'11" and 89lbs at 17 years old these were the best little things made in years!!! I am SO disappointed that they were pulled from the store!! And what is the difference between these little panties that No one is really going to see... and a bikini at the beach or by the pool that everyone in sight see's???
My daughter wears these undies under her gymnastics leos.It's the only ones that do not show, and we are very disappointed that they stopped making them. They are comfortable to her, the only kind she liked. Who cares what they look like - shes 9, and NO ONE should be looking but HER. If it makes her comfortable and she likes them, who cares!
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